Chicago has a rich history of Black homeownership. It was one of the first cities where a generation of Black families settled during the Great Migration to establish roots outside of the Jim Crow south. For decades, families navigated housing discrimination and speculators to create communities where they could flourish.

A few decades later, their generational success has been threatened by gentrification, high rents, and displacement. Despite the challenges new homeowners face, with the help of fresh ideas, and programs from city hall, many are reclaiming that narrative and establishing their roots.

Owning is Possible

There are barriers to purchasing in the city today, but that doesn’t mean having a place to call your own is out of reach. The first step to owning a home is having the desire or the dream to, next you get some advice – that’s where we come in.

The Chicago Urban League offers a housing counseling program designed to meet you where you are and help you make a plan to save, build your credit, and find homes that meet your needs within your budget. The Urban League also has a workforce development program that can help you find employment opportunities that help you reach your financial goals.

Homeownership is a Path to Generational Wealth

When our parents, and grandparents, first came to Chicago, they understood the power of owning land. Owning property meant paying taxes in your community and having in say in how things get done. They also understood that as time progresses and land is developed, property continues to grow in value.

The best part is that property can be kept in a family for generations. Whether you decided to move out and rent your home or give it your children, your home and the value it rises to you is yours until you decide to sell it.

Homeownership is a Journey

Owning a home doesn’t begin or end at closing, it starts long before walking into a bank or calling and realtor, and doesn’t’ have to end at the first home you buy. There are plenty of options available to buyers in Chicago from all walks of life, and organizations like the Chicago Urban League, a HUD-approved housing counseling organization, offer financial education and individualized financial coaching from certified housing counselors to help prepare you to purchase your first home, and even the home of your dreams.

If you’re in the Chicago area and want to take the first step towards buying your first home, learn about how the Chicago Urban League can support you in your journey.